Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2016 Yankees Statistical Predictions: The Lineup

Yesterday we discussed my predictions for the starting rotation as far as stats go and today I want to focus on the starting lineup. You and I both know that the offense can carry a pitcher and pick up a pitcher in tough times, ask Nathan Eovaldi, and the Yankees offense did just that in 2015 on their way to the second highest run scoring total in the Major Leagues. That’s the good news, the bad news is the Yankees offense is another year older, another year farther away from their primes and another year closer to retirement in some cases. Can this offense carry the team much like they did in 2015 or will Mother Nature and Father Time have the last laugh in the Bronx?

Jacoby Ellsbury is the guy that gets the Yankees lineup going day in and day out. When he struggles or when he’s injured it travels downhill and has a snowball effect through the Yankees lineup. If New York wants to have a productive season offensively in 2016 I believe it lives and dies with Ellsbury. Ellsbury is a sensitive guy I think, that’s what I gather from his interviews and his introductory press conference and such, and he can be his own worst enemy at times. In order to counteract that he needs to have a great start to the season in order to have a productive one and I truly think he will.

Jacoby Ellsbury
130 games, .280 average, 15 home runs, 76 RBI

Starlin Castro, what do you expect out of the newest Yankees second baseman? Is it the Castro that struggled during the first half of the 2015 season with the Cubs as a shortstop or is the second base version of Castro that took off hitting over .330 during the second half of the season? Honestly it’s probably somewhere right in the middle of the two, and that’s perfectly fine.

Starlin Castro
155 games, .265 average, 15 home runs, 76 RBI

What in the world can Alex Rodriguez do to follow up his amazing comeback story from 2015? Well he can’t get any younger, he turns 41-years old this season, and he doesn’t have the benefit (or curse) of having almost two full seasons off of rest and rehabilitation to push him through the dog days of the long MLB season. For these reasons alone I can see him taking a bit of a step back in 2016 but who could blame him or expect anything less from the Yankees slugger?

Alex Rodriguez
140 games, .245 average, 26 home runs, 82 RBI

Mark Teixeira cut gluten out of his diet before the 2015 season and either had a positive effect from it or was finally fully healed from his wrist injury from a couple years back. Either way Teixeira had one of his more productive seasons in 2015 and will need another productive season in 2016 if he wants a favorable free agent contract after the 2016 season.

Mark Teixeira
140 games, .253 average, 31 home runs, 114 RBI

Brian McCann has been overused in my opinion during his two year tenure in the Bronx. The Yankees have had suitable backups for McCann in John Ryan Murphy and Francisco Cervelli but have opted to get him and his big bat into as many games as his body would allow. Having Gary Sanchez on the team should help that going forward and allow the Yankees to keep him rested and fresh.

Brian McCann
125 games, .229 average, 25 home runs, 90 RBI

Not too many people know this but Carlos Beltran actually led the Yankees in batting average in 2015 despite what many thought to be another down season for the aging right fielder. With Gary Sanchez taking up at bats at DH to keep Alex Rodriguez fresh and Aaron Hicks needing regular at bats off the bench I can see Beltran sitting or playing DH a lot in 2016, this should help keep him fresh and healthy for the majority of the season. Beltran is not the Beltran we saw in Houston with the Astros or in Queens with the New York Mets but he can be solid before riding off on his white horse into the sunset that we have been known to call retirement.

Carlos Beltran
130 games, .260 average, 17 home runs, 72 RBI

Chase Headley reminds me a lot of Jacoby Ellsbury in the way that he can get inside his own head and become his own worst enemy. I believe his 30 home run hitting power years are long behind him but I do not believe that his days of being a quality defender at third base are. An offseason can do wonders for a guy that is struggling to make a consistent throw to first base and that pressure put on himself can affect him in the batter’s box in my opinion. Headley will enjoy a slight bounce-back in both departments next season in my opinion and become a solid player for the remainder of his Yankees tenure.

Chase Headley
150 games, .266 average, 13 home runs, 67 RBI

Brett Gardner, talk about a roller coaster of a calendar year. Last year Gardner went from being an All Star for the first time in his career to being labeled an injury prone player who cannot play in the second half. The latter led the Yankees to make him trade bait this winter with no takers willing to take on his salary or pay the price put forward by Yankees GM Brian Cashman. Gardner has gone from everyone wanting him to, use the term very loosely, no one wanting him via trade in less than six months. Does he let that get him down and does he beat himself up about it or does he use it as motivation to get better in 2016? Once again I’m going with the latter.

Brett Gardner
143 games, .275 average, 18 home runs, 70 RBI

Didi Gregorius quietly had one of the better seasons for the Yankees in 2015. Didi probably should have won the Gold Glove Award for American League shortstops in 2015 and is likely the player we saw offensively from June until the end of the season rather than the player we saw with the Derek Jeter themed monkey on his back the first two months of the season. I am a bit higher on Didi Gregorius than others, and I admit that 100%, but I have a sneaking suspicion my predictions won’t be that far off when the dust settles on 2016.

Didi Gregorius

154 games, .293 average, 10 home runs, 61 RBI


  1. Fun article, I hope your predictions come to pass. I think ARod & Gardner will hit less HR and Didi & Jacoby will have lower batting avg.

    1. Thank you Clay and welcome to the site. Hope you stick around and enjoy your stay.

      I do think I am a little too optimistic on some and maybe not optimistic on others as I should be but it's so tough to do and predict six or seven months in advance. When we look back at this in October we'll see. I had a good year of predictions last year but that was definitely the exception and not the rule.

  2. I hope you aren't over optimistic Daniel, unless we have a few injuries to our starting rotation...and IF we go to a six man rotation. WE may have a fine year yet...not ready for prime time yet but close.

    Didi was as advertised if one paid attention to his numbers when he was able to play more before he came to the Yankees. I look for a repeat of his 2nd half this year. A glove and arm like his comes along very seldom and then add his offensive numbers to the equation makes it that much better. I would be more than happy with .270 BA, 10 HRs and 60/70 RBIs.

    Brett will come back hard because he knows no other way! His history shows him to be a very hard worker and has always been the "other guy", one that is never good enough but turns out to be the guy anyhow. I think with the addition of Hicks, Brett and Ells will be able to have more time off and recover from any small acks and pains.

    Chase Headley is a different player than what he was. With the Yips starting last year, we may have Castro at 3rd base and Refsy at 2nd yet. The Yips is something that is hard to keep out of your mind and get over for good. This team can't live with more than one player being a drag on the team (as is Beltran, bad knees).

    My personal opinion is; it would be better for the Team IF Brett or Ells were to be traded. Thus, we would have Hicks in CF and Brett/Ells in left field.

    1. I'm with you Reed and I am feeling as optimistic as ever. This is the time to feel optimistic though. This team is hella talented, it just has to stay healthy, stay calm and perform.

      I think players like Didi are keeping things loose in the clubhouse. You can't quantify that.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)